Life Support

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dlpulver
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Re: It's Life Support Jim, but not as we know it...

Postby dlpulver » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:21 am

Hans Rancke wrote:
far-trader wrote:Little Known Facts of Starship Travel #117:
Well-known fact of space travel: Life support in real space cost exactly the same as life support in jumpspace.

Hans
Checking JTAS asteroid mining rules, apparently not (:

I don't think they'll change the rule in Mongoose as it would mean errata for the life support
cost line in every one of their starship entries (there are probably several hundred of these across multiple books). I was just looking for ways to handle it for long expeditions away from major ports.
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Re: It's Life Support Jim, but not as we know it...

Postby IanW » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:39 am

dlpulver wrote:
Checking JTAS asteroid mining rules, apparently not (:

I don't think they'll change the rule in Mongoose as it would mean errata for the life support
cost line in every one of their starship entries (there are probably several hundred of these across multiple books). I was just looking for ways to handle it for long expeditions away from major ports.
Then put a sidebar explaining that it's a tax, and the circumstances under which you can evade it.
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Re: Life Support

Postby F33D » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:13 pm

dlpulver wrote:
Note, however, that the figure is listed as "per expedition" rather than "per month" with each block on the asteroid mining flow chart a week there's nothing mentioned about running out of air on a monthly basis.

Any thoughts on how this relates?
Cr500 for a weeks worth of water (or even a month) & Cr1000 for the O2?

:lol:

Marc must have been using a substance banned by the Imperial Gov...
phavoc
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Re: Life Support

Postby phavoc » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:28 pm

Life support costs are, I believe, just generically accounted for. It covers all the cost of living (food, air, water, etc... i.e. the consumables associated with living and breathing). The annual maintenance cost would account for servicing to the actual life support machinery.

It's overly simplified, much like the passage options are. If you are a wealthy individual buying passage on a starship, you won't be paying Cr10,000 for "high" passage on a free trader. You'd be on a passenger liner. And your first-class accommodations would also include first-class food and drink. But the current rules don't have any differentiation here. All of the numbers are simplified.

For some that's great 'cause they wanna blast people (or trade them, or explore or....). For others its not so great and they would like more rules and details around it.
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Re: Life Support

Postby F33D » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:34 pm

phavoc wrote:Life support costs are, I believe, just generically accounted for. It covers all the cost of living (food, air, water, etc... i.e. the consumables associated with living and breathing).
Nope. It is charged whether or not people are consuming any of the above items...
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Re: Life Support

Postby phavoc » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:49 pm

F33D wrote:
phavoc wrote:Life support costs are, I believe, just generically accounted for. It covers all the cost of living (food, air, water, etc... i.e. the consumables associated with living and breathing).
Nope. It is charged whether or not people are consuming any of the above items...
That doesn't change what I said. The costs are generic support costs, meaning they aren't broken down into sub-categories. The fact that they are charged regardless of someone occupying a cabin or not was mentioned earlier in the thread.
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Re: Life Support

Postby F33D » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:06 pm

phavoc wrote:
F33D wrote:
phavoc wrote:Life support costs are, I believe, just generically accounted for. It covers all the cost of living (food, air, water, etc... i.e. the consumables associated with living and breathing).
Nope. It is charged whether or not people are consuming any of the above items...
That doesn't change what I said. The costs are generic support costs, meaning they aren't broken down into sub-categories. The fact that they are charged regardless of someone occupying a cabin or not was mentioned earlier in the thread.
Reread what you wrote. They OBVIOUSLY can't cover what you listed or, they wouldn't be charged for when no people are present.
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Re: Life Support

Postby phavoc » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:17 pm

F33D wrote:
phavoc wrote:
That doesn't change what I said. The costs are generic support costs, meaning they aren't broken down into sub-categories. The fact that they are charged regardless of someone occupying a cabin or not was mentioned earlier in the thread.
Reread what you wrote. They OBVIOUSLY can't cover what you listed or, they wouldn't be charged for when no people are present.
According to the rules you pay the costs if the cabin is occupied or not. This is on pg138 of the rules. It states that the Cr2000/month per stateroom in single occupancy covers all life support costs as well as "spartan" food. Low berths cost Cr100/month. To me that's pretty generic. If anyone remembers the old generic foods that were in the white labels and just said "Beer", "Macaroni & Cheese", etc. Now that's about as generic as you get...

That's the nice thing about Traveller - you can alter the rules to fit your own group's playing style.

And an interesting aside... if you have aliens with fast metabolism, the life support cost is doubled (and slower ones are halved).
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Re: Life Support

Postby far-trader » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:25 pm

phavoc wrote:And an interesting aside... if you have aliens with fast metabolism, the life support cost is doubled (and slower ones are halved).
In the rules? That would be interesting. I've houseruled it for decades but a rule cite would be a bonus, however...

...the issue is still one of just who is drinking all that generic BEER and eating all that generic NOODLES etc. when you still have to pay Cr2000 per month per stateroom even with NOBODY living there. Never mind why one is paying those extortion level prices for generic blandness.

The interesting bit about the alternate costs for different metabolisms is why is an EMPTY stateroom only costing half as much to NOT HAVE a slow metabolism alien instead of NOT HAVING a regular metabolism human? And if I instead DO NOT HAVE a high metabolism alien instead of NOT HAVING a regular metabolism human, do I pay double?

:wink:

There's your fix of course, IF that bit about metabolism IS in the rules. Just choose to NOT HAVE empty staterooms occupied by deceased passengers. Their life support needs would be ZERO for that trip. Problem solved.

;)
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Re: Life Support

Postby Ishmael » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:45 pm

phavoc wrote:And an interesting aside... if you have aliens with fast metabolism, the life support cost is doubled (and slower ones are halved).
That was the purpose of 'fast drug' , if you follow the Dumarest way of travelling. It cuts life support needs and alleviates boredom.
( in the books, it was called 'quicktime', iirc )
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Re: Life Support

Postby F33D » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:09 am

far-trader wrote: ...the issue is still one of just who is drinking all that generic BEER and eating all that generic NOODLES etc. when you still have to pay Cr2000 per month per stateroom even with NOBODY living there. Never mind why one is paying those extortion level prices for generic blandness.
;)
Another question. How long can you go without carrying enough passengers before your cargo hold overflows with all that excess generic food, water, O2, etc?
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Re: It's Life Support Jim, but not as we know it...

Postby Hans Rancke » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:03 am

far-trader wrote:Agreed, though I prefer to give a good try at making the rule work before chucking it.
I think a good try at making the rule work has been made. It failed.
And I think the ALF (Alien Life Form) idea works. Granted I haven't been terribly verbose above, just the barest outline of the idea. And there may be issues with it but off hand I think they're covered. It removes the cost of consumables issue and addresses the constant cost regardless of occupancy.

Presumably I've not convinced you :)

What issues do you see not addressed by it?
I already told you. Life support for spaceboats is the same as life support for starships. Hence no explanation that invokes any form of jumpspace wear and tear will work.
EDIT: For the record, I'm sure that's not what the rule intends, and if it was they should have said as much. In fact they really should have spelled out just what that Cr2000 per month IS buying. If they'd tried that when writing it I'm sure they'd have said "Hmm, that just doesn't work, we need to change it." At least that's what I would hope the response would be.

Would we even be having this discussion if the cost was Cr200 per month? Even without any explanation/breakdown of what that is buying? I seriously doubt it.
We would probably be discussing how you could possibly pay for life support for an adult human for 30 days for only Cr200. ;)


Hans
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Re: It's Life Support Jim, but not as we know it...

Postby far-trader » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:12 am

Hans Rancke wrote:
I already told you. Life support for spaceboats is the same as life support for starships. Hence no explanation that invokes any form of jumpspace wear and tear will work.
OK, misunderstanding there somewhere. I seem to recall (and should check before blathering on, but... ;) ) that spaceships and small craft only need the (small craft) cabin, which is only half the size, 10% the cost, and has no associated life support costs. That only starships need a stateroom with it's high price and operational cost. Or maybe that's an old house-rule rattling around in my brain.

Would we even be having this discussion if the cost was Cr200 per month? Even without any explanation/breakdown of what that is buying? I seriously doubt it.
Hans Rancke wrote:We would probably be discussing how you could possibly pay for life support for an adult human for 30 days for only Cr200. ;)
Right again :) It'd be boring if we didn't find something to discuss ;)
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Re: Life Support

Postby Hans Rancke » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:21 am

Ishmael wrote:
Hans Rancke wrote:Yes, and that is covered by power consumption. The amount of consumables that are consumed, however, is less when there are less people to consume them. So basing the cost of consumables consumed on the number of staterooms Does. Not. Make. Sense.
There may be costs involved that are not related to power consumption... or does no one change filters or use cleaning agents with life support equipment. Even air fresheners or scented candles? Chemical treatments for water tanks to keep bacteria growth low?
No doubt it is possible to come up with some parts of life support that has to be paid in any case. Your example of keeping down bacterial growth in the water supply is a good one. But life support also includes the consumption of food and sundries, a consumption that does not take place when no one is around to consume them. If the rule said that life support cost X credits per month (based on the size of the life support system (which is, of course, directly proportional to the number of people it is rated for (i.e. two per stateroom ;))) plus Y credits per passenger and crewman, it would be fine (provided X and Y made sense compared to other costs).
Besides, the rule does not mention consumables anyway; people just make that assumption.
I make that assumption because keeping someone alive involves consuming various consumables.
And even then, it would be a mistake to assume that cost per unit volume remains the same always. Perhaps some places cost more for the required 'consumables', but the game simplifies this as an average amount per trip.
That practically goes without saying (Though CT at least said it outright). However, one of the big problems I had with the old CT system was that I thought Cr2000 per person per fortnight was much too high an average. If the cost of consumables ought to vary between, say, Cr800 and Cr1200, simplifying the figure to Cr2000 is still flat out wrong.
Just like changing shipping costs, etc.... if you change it, you change the setting's assumptions and thus, the setting itself. Just accept the rule as part of the setting for play balance/effect and move on.
You're assuming that changing the setting's assumptions from something that does not bear close examination to something that makes sense is not a desirable improvement.

As an aside, I have a second interest besides getting this particular rule to be self-consistent. Namely to lower the general costs of starship travel. At the canonical costs, far too many adventure ideas are scotched because the people involved wouldn't be able to afford the cost of starship travel. I'd like to change that by lowering the cost of mid passage and eliminating the lethality of low passage. Hence my advocacy of lower life support and 'ecomony passage' (in shared staterooms) has an ulterior motive.

I'd still want self-consistency in my game rules even if I didn't have that ulterior motive, though.
If we change every rule that Does. Not. Make. Sense. then there are many rules concerning world generation, economics, and other stuff that would need changing before worrying about this lil snippet.
But this lil snippet is the one we're discussing here.


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Re: It's Life Support Jim, but not as we know it...

Postby Hans Rancke » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:29 am

far-trader wrote:OK, misunderstanding there somewhere. I seem to recall (and should check before blathering on, but... ;) ) that spaceships and small craft only need the (small craft) cabin, which is only half the size, 10% the cost, and has no associated life support costs. That only starships need a stateroom with it's high price and operational cost. Or maybe that's an old house-rule rattling around in my brain.
Small craft do not need staterooms, but you can't stay out in a small craft for longer than... 24 hours I think it is. Something like that. Spaceboats that you can fly around in for days do require staterooms.


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Re: Life Support

Postby Hans Rancke » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:56 am

dlpulver wrote:* 1 person requires 1 kg of food and other essentials per day costing Cr 25 per kg

* 1 ton of such supplies will support 2000 person/days at a cost of Cr 50,000.

* That translates into 285 person/weeks at Cr 175 per week.
That sounds much more reasonable.

EDIT: Actually, thinking it over, it doesn't. Oh, it's reasonable enough for expedition food -- food that has to keep for months and years. It seems to fit with the CT cost of preserved foods (Cr20 per day, weighs 500g) with Cr5 per day left over for sundries (non-food consumables). But for food intended to be consumed over the next 10 days (length of a jump trip), it's too much. Assuming a credit is equivalent to a 1977 US$, and given a fridge and a freezer, I'd undertake to buy supplies for 10 days and produce palatable meals -- much better than mere spartan living -- for around Cr5 per day. And that's with TL7 preservation techniques.

A ship will probably have an emergency stash of preserved food, but for jump to jump consumption fresh food ought to be the norm.
* Before an expedition the crew should "invest in a safety inspection (Cr 500), a complete recharge of the ship's oxygen system (Cr 1000) and water system (Cr 500)."

It is not stated if this is per ship or per stateroom (per ship is illogical if applied to all ships: I'm sure it costs more for a 5000 tonner than a 100 tonner). If it is per stateroom, rather than per ship, then 500 + 1000 + 500 = 2000, a figure that may seem oddly familiar, albeit one stated as not covering food (30 days would add Cr 750 based on Miller's other prices).
Unless you believe that miners are expected to return to base and get a recharge of their systems every two weeks, the figure is pure coincidence.
Note, however, that the figure is listed as "per expedition" rather than "per month" with each block on the asteroid mining flow chart a week there's nothing mentioned about running out of air on a monthly basis.
Exactly.

If the LS costs were a recharge of the air and water (even at Cr1500 per stateroom) every, say, three months, plus Cr250 for 10 days worth of supplies per person, I wouldn't quibble. Indeed, I would probably consider that more plausible than only one recharge per year (included in the annual maintenance). I would not pay for a seperate recharge for the three months following an annual maintenance, though.
Any thoughts on how this relates?
Umm... it's a mistake?


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Last edited by Hans Rancke on Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: It's Life Support Jim, but not as we know it...

Postby Hans Rancke » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:04 am

dlpulver wrote:
Hans Rancke wrote:Well-known fact of space travel: Life support in real space cost exactly the same as life support in jumpspace.
Checking JTAS asteroid mining rules, apparently not (:
How do you figure that?
I don't think they'll change the rule in Mongoose as it would mean errata for the life support
cost line in every one of their starship entries (there are probably several hundred of these across multiple books).
Um... why would they have to do that? Just say that the life support line tells of the cost for when the ship has one warm body per stateroom aboard. GMs can use that as the default figure or they can go into more detail if they (and theor players) are interested.
I was just looking for ways to handle it for long expeditions away from major ports.
But that makes it difficult to answer your original question. You're asking for logical and sensible ramifications to an illogical and nonsensical rule. Which puts your straight up against the GIGO principle.


Hans
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Re: Life Support

Postby Captain Jonah » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:46 am

Since we have basically all come to the same conclusion (the rules make no sense) how about we look at dumping the rule completely and putting in an alternative.

A stateroom can be empty, have one person or two people in it and yet the rule says Cr200 per month regardless. You can land your liner on a earth type world, open the doors to let in the fresh air and have one crew man aboard while the other 35 staterooms are empty because the crew and passengers are spending the month camping on the sun kissed beaches and yet it still costs you Cr72,000 ?????

So remove the entire stateroom from the rule.

A ship has a small portion of its stateroom tonnage given over to live support and things like a galley. These are maintained in the same way that the rest of the ship is.

The factor is the person. Air needs to have CO2 removed, waste needs to be recycled and food needs to be eaten but its all based around the person or people.

A single person (ignore the stateroom here) costs Cr2000 per month. Two people sharing cost Cr3000 a week. So a person adds Cr1000 a month or Cr250 a week. This is not because of shared budgets or it would apply to the entire crew. It seems to me that a “Person” costs Cr1000 per month

This means that two people in a shared stateroom use Cr1000 each in monthly consumables (I say consumables since they need to be replaced each month) and there is another Cr1000 which doesn’t relate to the number of people.

Or to put it another way a person uses Cr250 a week in consumables. A stateroom can hold one or two people each and has a cost of Cr1000 per month added in for something else.

So what is the something else. Its not a consumable since they are included in the Cr1000 per person, it seems to be charged per month empty or occupied. What is it???

Decide on what the Cr1000 per stateroom cost is, its not tax since it applies everywhere, what in the stateroom costs Cr1000 per month.


Anyway Cr250 per person per week of occupation plus a Cr1000 per stateroom mystery charge that may or may not be simply dropped unless someone can come up with a good reason for it.

Low quality will have a lower cost but a negative, higher quality costs more but has a neagative (perhaps like the 2300 Crew comfort ratings).


Also we are talking about fresh foods and consumable filters etc, much bulkier than emergency rations though shipboard supplies maybe special packaged for storage and use aboard ship hence the more expensive bit. I would thing a person for a week runs to about 0.25 Cubic metres in total if you include every possible consumable plus packing. That gives you 56 weeks for 1Dton. If every stateroom includes storage space say 0.25Dtons each then every 4 staterooms includes 56 weeks of life support stores. Each extra Dton in cargo adds another 56 weeks and costs Cr1400.


A ships crew and passenger capacity is therefore determined by the number of staterooms. Maximum Beds and life support is 2 per stateroom.

Weekly consumables are Cr250 per person payable only if you have a person on board.

A ship with 12 Staterooms can carry a maximum of 24 people. It can hold 3Dtons or 168 weeks of stores which will last 7 weeks if every stateroom is double occupied. It costs Cr42,000 to fully stock the ship but once paid the ship is fine till the stores run down. Weekly restock is Cr250 per person. For long expeditions cargo space can be used to hold additional stores.

This still leaves the Cr1000 per stateroom. Anyone have any ideas what that would be?
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Re: Life Support

Postby Ishmael » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:38 pm

After looking at how older editions handled this within the OTU setting, I find nothing really wrong with it. I took information from DGP's "Starship Operator's Manual".

According to SOM, the cost is 2000cr per month per person on the ship, including the crew.
This is not exactly life support, but it is the various consumables used by people ( which is more than just food and water ).
This amount corresponds to the upkeep costs for soc-8.
So to spend less would make the ship and its fare appropriate to lower soc clients or spending more to make the ship's accomidations more like a 5-star establishment.
Better food costs more per unit than crappier food.
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Re: Life Support

Postby CosmicGamer » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:17 pm

Hans Rancke wrote:
* Before an expedition the crew should "invest in a safety inspection (Cr 500), a complete recharge of the ship's oxygen system (Cr 1000) and water system (Cr 500)."
Unless you believe that miners are expected to return to base and get a recharge of their systems every two weeks, the figure is pure coincidence.
Coincidence or not, the concept that there is maintenance (maintenance requires supplies) and such for the life support systems and not just restocking the mini fridge does help make sense of the rule.

These costs could be based on the size of the systems (# of staterooms) and need to be done whether a stateroom is occupied or not.
Captain Jonah wrote:Since we have basically all come to the same conclusion (the rules make no sense) how about we look at dumping the rule completely and putting in an alternative.
Ishmael wrote:After looking at how older editions handled this within the OTU setting, I find nothing really wrong with it. I took information from DGP's "Starship Operator's Manual".

According to SOM, the cost is 2000cr per month per person on the ship, including the crew.
This is not exactly life support, but it is the various consumables used by people ( which is more than just food and water ).
This amount corresponds to the upkeep costs for soc-8.
I also don't think the rule needs to be dumped completely. People can do as they wish. Perhaps a little rewording is all that is needed. Any rewording will of course vary depending on each individuals preferences.
Core Rulebook pg. 138 wrote:Each stateroom on a ship costs Cr. 2,000 per month, occupied or not. This covers supplies for the life support system as well as food and water, although meals at this level will be rather spartan.
One option:

Each stateroom on a ship costs Cr. 2,000 per month, occupied or not. This covers supplies required to properly inspect and maintain the life support system as well as typically including food and water, although meals at this level will be rather spartan.

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